Here’s my report on the first Story Salon at The Society Club in Soho – the new monthly lit-night from Cathy Galvin, creator of the Sunday Times EFG Award.
- Meet Alison MacLeod at Oxford Circus. She has a new purple coat.
- Arrive at the Society Club and meet Carrie Kania, one of the owners.
- GREAT selection of books here. Carrie says each one has a special reason for being on the shelf.
- We try to be quiet while Cathy Galvin interviews tonight’s readers on camera.
- We can’t be quiet, so go outside.
- Will Cohu has an app that lets you to film something, then blow it up or crash a plane into it.
- He films us in Ingestre Place and drops a giant wrecking ball on us.
- There is wine.
- Audience arrives. Full house.
- Cathy Galvin welcomes everyone. Stories and companionship, that’s what the Story Salon will be about.
- Brilliant story readings begin:
– Alison MacLeod on the London riots
– Evgenia Citkowitz on adopting crack-orphans
– interval: Emma Cantons tells me about her amazing mum who learned Russian by reading War and Peace.
– Hazel Osmond on awful step-mothers
– Will Cohu on rhinoceros hunters.
- Brilliant story readings end, but Cathy promises similarly great line-ups at future events.
- Wow, look at that rain.
- Talking bird poetry with Steve Wasserman: Gerard Manley Hopkins’ The Windhover and John Lillison’s (Steve Martin’s) Pointy Birds.
- Is that a first edition of Naked Lunch in the glass cabinet? I covet it.
- There’s a tiny dog in here.
- Everyone hungry. We head out into Soho.
- Find tapas.
- We have the third floor to ourselves.
- All lean out the window to watch the Hare Krishna parade go by.
- Impossible to hear anyone say ‘patatas bravas’ without chuckling.
- Eat squid and meatballs, drink wine.
- Look at Victoria Cantons’ paintings of volcanoes and atomic explosions on her iPhone.
- We have trains to catch.
- Kisses. Handshakes. Paul McVeigh leads me and Alison back to Oxford Circus.
- Paul and Alison talk about their enthusiasm for Ceili dancing.
- I talk about the time I bought a ninja suit in Carnaby Street.
- Enormous soy latte on the train. Heart palpitations.
- Too tired to read my new book on metaphor. Listen to Sub Altern Podcast: Nikesh Shukla interviewing Evie Wyld.
- Naomi has waited up.
- Watch American Dad in bed.